SEATTLE - Police are asking for your help to identify the people who broke into a cancer patient's home and stole thousands of dollars in goods and tried to steal his identity.
In October, Seth Bernsen tried to get away for a little bit of relaxation.
“We had been at home for nine months. We were getting a little antsy,” he said.
However, the weekend would be anything but relaxing. While driving along the Oregon Coast, Bernsen says his neighbor called to let him know the doors of his home were open.
“It looked like there had been some rummaging around,” said Bernsen.
It was much more than rummaging. Thieves broke into his home and stole thousands of dollars of his possessions. They stole private documents and information, and Bernsen says these crooks have tried to open credit in his name and write about $20,000 in fraudulent checks. They also stole his car out of his garage, but that was not enough for them.
“The criminals actually returned about midday with our car pulling into our garage,” said Bernsen.
Returning to the scene of the crime just a few hours later, things would not be as easy for these crooks.
“Walked up to the car and said, ‘Hey this isn’t yours.’ They tried lying saying, ‘This was their family’s house.’ And it was like, ‘Nope,” said Justin Fraley.
Fraley noticed when something was wrong earlier in the day. He is the one who notified the Bernsens in Oregon.
When the crooks came back, he tried to stop them.
The crooks drove Bernsen’s car into a wall, pinning Fraley so he couldn’t move. But he was still able to get several pictures of the thieves in action.
“Perhaps without that neighbor jumping in and taking this picture we would have very little to go on,” said Retired Detective Mryle Carner with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.
Some of the pictures captured clearly show features of the suspects, and the clothes they are wearing. Carner hopes someone recognizes these criminals and helps bring Bernsen justice.
“It would give us a lot of self-security knowing they were brought to justice, “said Bernsen.
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a reward of up to $1000 for information that solves the case. You can text tips and photos anonymously to Crime Stoppers through the P3 Tips App that you can download to your cell phone for free. You can also call 1-800-222-TIPS or go to www.P3Tips.com.